As you have gathered from the contents of this blog, I have walked the halls of Brussels Airport many times. Here is a quick guide for the tired or weary traveller passing through.
Brussels Airport is not the largest or most complex airport there is but the volume of people can make the place seem a little confusing at times. Here are a few tips for frequent travellers or people who just want to save some time:
- The queues can be chaotic so do make good use of on-line check-in facilities and the automated kiosks where possible.
- If you are unsure as to the weight of your luggage, find an empty desk and see how much you really have packed to avoid nasty surprises while checking in.
- Don’t waste time buying chocolates or gifts before you pass through passport/ticket control. The prices are the same and you’re closer to the gate.
- If you are travelling to a non-Schengen destination and have to go through passport control, don’t just queue in the lines marked “EU Passports Only”; the other lines are marked “All Passports”, not “Non-EU Passports” and can be a faster option.
- Remember to pay attention to my guide to airport security too.
- There is a five to ten minute walk to the luggage carousel and your luggage will not be there on time. If you’re passing through the Schengen terminal, feel free to grab a quick coffee or last-minute gift.
- Do not remove the luggage tags from your bags until you have passed through the customs check point. An absence of tags means that they are more likely to want to know what you’ve got in them.
- There is a well-manned taxi rank outside the departures hall but a faster and cheaper way of getting into the city involves the trains on level -1 and then taking a taxi from one of the main train stations. Pay attention to my guide to Brussels Gare Du Midi if you do so.
- If your luggage does not appear, make sure to speak to the representatives behind the desks in the luggage carousel area. Do not leave this area before doing so.
- There are very few electrical ports available in the departure zone (pre-passport/ticket) control. If you’re delayed at the airport and need some juice, head down to the arrivals zone which will always be quieter.
- There are lockers on level 0 which you can use to avoid having to carry all your possessions with you.
- If you’re delayed for more than a couple of hours, avoid the hassle of the airport and get a return train ticket to the centre. Stop at Brussels Gare Centrale and wander around for a while.
- Avoid the crammed cafes and restaurants at the airport and go to the hotel across the road. It’s pricey too (so is the airport) but the quality is better.
Hope this helps you in your travels!